Vocations Conference, 2-4 September 2016

Posted on the 26th Jul 2016

The number of priests ordained by bishops of The Society this year is a cause for rejoicing. But the number of priests reaching retirement age makes it essential for all who belong to The Society to continue to pray for vocations, and do all they can to foster them.


There are still places left on this year's Vocations Conference for men in the catholic tradition (St Stephen's House, Oxford: 2-4 September). Do you know anyone who should be considering a possible vocation to the priesthood? If so, please encourage him to participate in this conference. For further details, see www.here-i-am.org.uk.


Thank God for Young Vocations

Posted on the 5th Jul 2016

This year, bishops of The Society are ordaining twelve men to the priesthood, eleven of them for stipendiary ministry. Nine of these eleven are 35 or younger and six are 30 or under.


Their average age when ordained to the diaconate last year was 31. Across the Church of England as a whole, the average ages were 37 for men and 42 for women.


36 of the men ordained as deacons in the Church of England last year were aged 25-29. Of these, six (one in six) have now been ordained to the priesthood by bishops of The Society.


A list of this year's ordinations by the bishops of The Society is published here.


See also: www.here-i-am.org.uk


New map of Society parishes

Posted on the 21st Jun 2016

The Society has issued the following News:


The Society's bishops encourage the parishes under their oversight to affiliate to The Society. 


The churches of those parishes that have affiliated so far - 200 churches - are now plotted on a new interactive map: www.sswsh.com/map.php This will help people to find their nearest Society church both when at home and when travelling. Further churches will be added to the map as more parishes affiliate.


Clicking on one of the churches gives the user its name and postcode, and links to its website, its entry on 'A Church Near You', and information about The Society in the diocese concerned (with a list of the Society's other parishes in that diocese). Further links provide a photographic view of the street in which the church is situated ('Street view'), a street plan showing its precise location ('Zoom here') and directions for travel by car from any postcode.


Report of the Independent Reviewer for 2015

Posted on the 1st Apr 2016

Forward in Faith welcomes the publication of Sir Philip Mawer’s first annual report. The fact that during 2015 no grievances were submitted by PCCs and only two concerns were submitted by others is encouraging.


We welcome the positive developments in the parish of All Saints, Cheltenham, which Sir Philip records. With regard to ministry in team benefices in general, we are grateful for Sir Philip’s confirmation, in response to a request that we made, that it is legally possible for a licence to qualify the scope of the ministry of a member of the team other than the Team Rector.


As Sir Philip reports, in September 2015 he invited comments on whether it would be worthwhile to set up a forum in which those of differing convictions could discuss what “mutual flourishing” means. Forward in Faith replied welcoming the proposal, expressing willingness to nominate representatives to participate in such a forum, and suggesting that it would be sensible to begin with a one-off exploratory discussion, involving an overnight stay in a neutral venue, with clearly set-out aims and parameters. We note Sir Philip’s conclusion, in the light of the replies he received, that “more time is required to assess the impact of the new arrangements in dioceses before the need for and shape of any wider forum for discussion can best be assessed”. We reiterate our willingness to participate in such a forum.


Resolutions under the House of Bishops' Declaration

Posted on the 7th Mar 2016

Over 300 parishes have already passed a resolution under the House of Bishops' Declaration which results in them receiving episcopal oversight from a member of the Council of Bishops of The Society. The majority had been petitioning parishes under the former Act of Synod, but a significant number previously had only Resolutions A and B or had no resolution at all.


Parishes that have not yet passed the new resolution have just over eight months to do so before the existing resolutions and petitions lapse. (Resolutions can of course be passed later, but, where resolutions are already in place, the new resolution should be passed before 17 November 2016 to avoid a hiatus.)


In January 2015 Forward in Faith published a booklet containing advice to parish priests and PCCs on passing resolutions under the Declaration. A second edition has now been published and is available on the Advice page of the Forward in Faith website or in print from the office. In addition to some minor adjustments, the second edition includes a new section setting out the steps that need to be taken after a resolution has been passed. This has been drafted in the light of parishes' experience of communication with dioceses about resolutions.


The Advice page also includes

  • a draft Resolution and Statement as a Word file,
  • a checklist for chairmen and secretaries of PCCs,
  • a sheet for calculating dates by which notice must be given before the PCC meeting,
  • a table for calculating the majority required to pass a resolution, and
  • a leaflet for PCC members.







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